Why….why did you pick me? I feel you… your touch; long after you are gone, long after I have awoken from that nightmare. No…the nightmare is when I am wake. I spend every day of every hour in fear of you. I find myself praying for the light because the dark holds too many…too many hiding spots for you.
They tell me, I’m crazy. That it’s simply my imagination running wild. But…they don’t see you. They haven’t felt you…like I have. I hear you…your laugh. Every pitch…every note linger long after you are gone. I feel your touch….long after I have awaken and I pray that I’ve lost my mind. Because if I am mad, if I am crazy then in time the horrors will fade. I can hear you…saying my name….
“Danny.” I flinch when you say it at first. I fold when you say it the second time. As the third one comes I find myself in tears. As your fingers rest on my shoulder I cry out to be saved. “Danny!” you scream or maybe it was a whisper? You laugh as my world goes dark and scream my name. As you move closely to me resting your cheek against mine. I can feel your breath…your blood boiling breath on my neck. You whisper something, something I don’t dare repeat and before I know it.
You’re gone. “Danny!” she screams so loudly I thought the glass in the room would shatter. I was back in reality. It was second period, Mrs. William stood there red faced hands on my shoulders. Spit dropped from my bottom lip as I jotted off of my desk and stared at her. She stands there grim-faced patting her right foot on the ground. “Danny!” she started, “You need to be more reasonable! At this rate your be luc—“
As she scold me the room slowly grows quite. The clock slows to a crawl and the only sound in the room now was the echoing of my own heartbeat. My body trembles as she speaks. No sound escape her lips, however her mouth moves a mile a minute. The only thing that comes from her mouth is blood, only blood. As I stare at everyone they stared back, but not with eyes. With dark holes where their eyes used to be, as they smile and laugh the room began to shake.
She slam her hand on my desk as my heart skips a beat. I jumped out of my sit as I glanced at her, she roars, blood covers me as she howls. Her mouth grew…..grew longer than it should and her flesh began to rip. Her jaw was now touching her chest. Hands….someone else hands began to escape from her mouth and as I stood there frozen in place. I see it. On the board….I see your message.
“Bring Your Friends.”
The reality truly sets in. That I am yours, no matter where I go. Rather asleep or awake I am yours. My nightmares are having nightmares….of you. I cry and I shake and all I hear is laughter. Was it yours or theirs? Does it matter because this was my reality, this haunting life was mine. As she steps towards me the hands began to rip open her mouth. Was it five or ten hands?
Each step she took, I took two back. As my back pressed against the wall hair began to escape her mouth. A head….his head. As his head escape her mouth my heart slowly began to fade away and there was only laughter. I shouted something, something on the lines of “No! Please not him!” or so I thought. But as I went to scream I realize my mouth is sewed shut. He stares at me, his blue eyes stares straight through me.
As she goes to grab me the room goes black and all that remains, is the echoing of their laughter. But soon even that is gone. Within the darkness, he stands there staring at me. His eyes stares through me as if he was searching for some hidden meaning behind our meeting. Maybe it was so I couldn’t see the fear consume him. He calls out to me, but the darkness swallows his words. As he reaches out for me, I only stand there. Frozen in place, frozen in fear. Out of the darkness your fingers slowly rest on his shoulders. You appear behind him and smile. He calls out to me, pleads for me to save him but I don’t. I do nothing, I only watch in fear.
“Danny!” he cries, you mock him. You say it with him, both of you call out to me and when you see me. When you see the fear make itself home within me. You only laugh. Then, there was silence and I was alone. You were gone, with him. There was only darkness, an endless darkness that I now called home. There was no words, no laughter. Then all at once, the fear fades and the realization of what just happen sinks in.
As I scream, as I pray to be able to start all over. As I shouted and cried out in the darkness. I run and chase after nothing. There was only darkness and the fragments of my new hollow pride. Even within the silence I could still hear him. Calling to me or maybe I called to myself. Questioned who I was and how far I have fallen. Questions fill my mind the shame, the guilt fill my very core.
As the question filled my head I found myself falling. A weightless fall, even though I knew I was falling deeper into the darkness. I had no sense of direction only that I was in a freefall. Deeper into it and I realize that this darkness. This darkness was all I deserved. His name slips from my lips, “George….” And now, now even my brother was yours.
Hours pass, maybe it was days. There was only darkness, only me; alone with my thoughts. Within this cold reality I made. The painful acceptation that I…I gave my brother to you. That I….oh lord let this be a dream….let this be a nightmare.
The voice echoed, it was so soft I missed it at first.
“Is….is anyone there….?”
I know this voice….it was a girl. I heard it before but….where? I listened, focus but the voice fades and then there was only a soft whimper.
“Please….is….is anyone there….please….”
She cried so softly. I know her…from where? Was she in my class? As my eyes opened I found myself in the backseat of a car. My mom sat next to me as my dad drove. The darkness was gone and I was back in the real world. But what was the real world? For the first time, I felt like you was gone. That I was finally safe, only for the image of George to flash in my mind.
“Mom!” I started, “Where George? Is he okay?” my voice was shaky and my words began to overlap. Before I said the first word I was already on the next. She sighed softly as she looked at me. “D-did something happen? Where is he mom? It….it’s after him mom!” I cried trying to undo my seatbelt.
“Now that enough!” my dad barked from the driver’s seat. His tone was flat and dry. He stared at me in the mirror. “George is at school, where you should be if you wasn’t so content at playing these games!” As he spoke my mother offered me no shield she only sat there calmly. “This is your last year of middle school Danny! It’s time for you to stop all these silly games! This is the fourth time this week!”
The rest of the ride home was quite. No one made a sound and even the radio seemed silent. The man on the radio spoke so loudly but his words seemed drown out by the silence, “Looks like it’s going to be another rainy evening. Get home quick everybody and stay dry! Next –“You didn’t come back, you didn’t laugh or haunt me. No you left me alone and maybe that was worse than your torment. 1:43 pm, school didn’t let out until 4pm.
George was the only thing I could think about. Questions filled my mind, “Was he after him? Was it my fault that he was after him?” so many questions I couldn’t think of anything else. Is that why you wasn’t here now, because you was hunting him? Why…why not finish me why torment me for so many years only to now chase my brother? Why…?
When we arrived home my dad gave me a look that spoke volumes. Without a word I retreated from the car into my room. My once calm and silent mom was now in the middle of a debate. They spoke so loudly it couldn’t be anything but yelling. They spoke of me, only of me. These days these fights and disagreements about me was normal. I have forgotten a time before them.
“We’re not sending him away Henry!” she said firmly walking into the house. “We’re not having this conversation again!” as she placed her purse down he followed after her like a blood hound.
“Then what are we going to do? At this rate he won’t pass the 8th grade. We have child services knocking on the door daily! The boy needs help and boot camp will give it to him!” he slam the front door as their footsteps echoed throughout the cold house. I’ve became good at pinpointing their movements base on their voice and footsteps.
“We are not sending him to boot camp!” she shouted walking into the kitchen. “His a child Henry! He has an overactive imagination. If we just...” as she spoke I could hear him follow her into the kitchen slamming every door between the front door and kitchens.
“Overactive? The kid threw a performance most Hollywood actors couldn’t!” he screamed cutting her off. “And now….and now his trying to fill George mind full of this stupid games!” This went on for hours, the screaming and crying. The sorry and I love you. It was ten minute in that I found peace within my Walkman. I sat their staring out the window as the music filled my ears.
I watched the street like a hawk waiting for any sign of George. As the seconds turns to minutes I found myself in a fight. The sandman tried with all his might to drag me into dream land. He whispered sweet nothingness in my ear and told me stories of promise lands and grander design. As I slipped away and fall into his embrace, I remember telling myself; “Only going to rest my eyes for a few minutes.”
The sound of the school bell woke me from my dream. I came to realize that I no longer sleep, I only dreamt. Dreams of pain and horror, it was something I’ve grown to try and avoid. As I stood from my desk and gather my things most of the other students was already out the classroom. Mr. Lopez walked over to my desk and offered me a faint smile.
“Good work today George. Make sure you’re mom see the field trip slip and sign it.” He said. As I went to answer I realized that this wasn’t my body. As I went to reply I realized that wasn’t my name. This foreign body only nodded and hurried out of the room. It was George…somehow I could see what he could. Feel what he could…but how? I tried to talk, tried to move but couldn’t.
I was trapped, watching the world through his eyes like a movie. I fought at first, struggle to break free but it was no use. He laughed and talked with friends. Time flowed freely and as he walked with Timmy they talked about everything. George was only seven, but smart. He was kind and sweet and even though he annoyed me like no other. He was my brother.
“So,” Timmy started each word was followed by the smacking of the gum he kept hidden under his tongue. “How come your brother already home?” Timmy was one year older than my brother. He was a nerdy little kid with dirty blonde hair that he kept messy. “B…because normally he walks with us. I m…mean what if…” he paused as he stared around. As the next few words escape his lips he spoke them only loud enough for George to hear. “What if….Butch comes?”
George only smiled as he toss his ball up and caught it. “Ah! I’m not scared of Butch!” he spoke he glanced over at Timmy. He gave him a smug look. “My daddy said, bullies only pick on people smaller cause their scared!” he chuckled as he tossed the ball into the air, but this time it didn’t come back down.
“Scared huh?” the voice cause them both to freeze in place. George turned around as he took two steps back. Butch and two other boys stood there. Butch kept George ball in his right hand as he grin at him. “So tell me, Georgie what am I so scared of huh?” as he spoke the other two laughed.
“I….I…” George was frozen in fear. I screamed and shouted. I cursed and yelled things I never knew I could. But no words came out, I was a mute behind foreign eyes. As thing one and thing two moved into place. Thing one grabbed George arm roughly while thing two grabbed Timmy.
“See, I should teach you a lesson about name calling. Talking about people behind their backs is rude.” As he talked the other boys only laughed again. That what we called them, at school. Butch and his gang. Thing one and thing two. Thing one’s name was Antony he was an older boy. Around sixteen repeating the 9th grade for god knows how many times. He was on the…heavy side which he used very well for bulling.
Thing two was Jamie. Jamie and I used to be friends, best friends. But somewhere down the line, things changed. He introduce me to jazz music and taught me how to play football. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss him. My dad said, that’s how life is. People come and go and the people who really matter. The people who no matter how many fights or disagreements who really care for you. Will never leave you unless you make them and even then, their only a call away.
“But” Butch started glancing back and forward between Jamie and Antony with a grin. “I’m not, because I’m not a bad guy!” He stepped towards George. His grin was so wide now he looked like the Joker from Batman. “I’ll even give you back your ball.” As he spoke the other boys laughed again and I screamed. I shouted for George to just run not to fall for it.
“R…really? George asked staring up at Butch.
“Of course! Here catch!” with one hard throw the ball passed George as it went into the gutter. George yelled as the other boys busted out laughing. “Awh, Georgie! You didn’t catch it!” Butch mockingly said walking over to Timmy taking his glass breaking them in two before dropping them in front of him. No other words was said, only laughter as the trio walked away.
I could only watch, as they torment George and Timmy. I was helpless, trapped behind these eyes that wasn’t mine. I could feel the pain sinking into George heart slowly going into his stomach. I could hear his thoughts, how he wish I was there. How he wish he was stronger. How he hated being so weak, so tiny.
The boys stood there watching as the others slowly disappeared in the distance. Only the chirping of a nearby nest filled with baby birds disturbs the tranquility. Timmy slowly bent over picking up the broken fragments of his glasses as he sighed softly. He was the first of the pair to speak, “Well then….at least they didn’t beat us up this time.” He gave a faint chuckle that only revealed how sad he was.
But they was no reply, not at first. George only stood there, red-faced consumed with rage. The silence only gave him time to think, gave the pain, fear and rage room to grow. Timmy stared at him, only briefly. He knew how mad he gots, how much he hated Butch. “Well…” he started, “Looks like it’s about to rain. We better get home. I’ll come by tomorrow okay…?” George didn’t say anything, only gave him a small nod of his head.
Thunder roared in the distance threating everything with within hear shot of the coming storm. The echoes of yelling filled the air, “Come inside before you get wet!” and “Come on! If you get caught in that storm you’ll catch your death!” I never understood that one, but the old people say it so it had to be true. It was either the thunder or maybe the yelling that finally snapped George out of his deep thought.
“Crap! I’ll be late for dinner!” he mumble as he started to walk. I couldn’t help but smile, through all of that he was back to normal. He was only five houses away from our house and I couldn’t help but smile. He was home, he was safe. As he started his stroll towards the house he paused. He stood there silently for a few seconds before turning towards the gutter.
It was my ball, I gave it to him a week again. I made up some lie about it being my lucky ball. That it meant the world to me, that I would only let him borrow it because he was my brother. My mom overheard me when I told him that and said, “That was so sweet of you” in the way only a mother could. I smiled and got an extra slice of pie that night. In truth he was always in my room, messing with my stuff and I figured it would keep him out of my room for at least a few weeks.
“No” I screamed, “Go home!” I plead. But he couldn’t hear me, he had no clue I was there, with him. Watching, feeling everything he was. He stood there, staring at the gutter only breaking the stare for a few seconds to glance at our house. I knew what he was thinking and I prayed he wouldn’t care. That he would just go home and tell me he lost it or misplaced it.
“He’ll be so mad…”he thought.
“No! I don’t care about the ball” I replied.
“Maybe I can grab it!” he said walking towards the gutter.
“For god sake go home!” I cried.
However my tears, my priers fell on deaf ears. He walked to the gutter and stood there for a brief minute. The smell caused him to take a step back. “Forget this!” he thought, “No way am doing this.” As he backed away his eyes caught sight of it. The ball sat there, almost as if it was shining as bright as the sun. He debated with himself and then took around step towards the gutter.
“Don’t do this!” I cried out. I only wanted him home, wanted him safe. He tried, again and again he tried to reach the ball his fingertips barely touching it. I could hear him, crying out in his head; begging for a few more inches. Making promises that he could never keep if he was able to get it. Wishing someone, anyone was here to help him.
He was afraid. Afraid of me being disappointed, being mad at him. Butch didn’t even make him this scared. As he pulled his arm out of the gutter he was silent. No thoughts, no words only a soft whimper. He was defeated. His hate for Butch was replaced with the shame of allowing my lucky ball to be taken away.
I never knew…never knew how much I meant to him. Never knew that the ball meant that much to him only because, I gave it to him. As he slowly got to his feet thunder threaten again and he gave the gutter one last long meaning glance. As his little hands whipped away the tears from his eyes he simply turned away from the gutter and walked.
In his pain, I found happiness. I didn’t like seeing him sad, but he was coming home. He’ll be home and safe. As he walked he gave the gutter one last defeated glance. When he did, a voice broke the silence. He spoke so calmly, at first I thought it was a whisper. But with each word it felt more like lightning striking at my heart.
“Hey, why so down chum?” he said staring at George. He didn’t believe his eyes at first, he stood in awe at the sight. A clown stood in the gutter holding a red balloon in his right hand. Fear slowly consumed me, words failed me. George took a step towards the gutter rubbing his eyes and looking again. “Well? What’s the matter Georgie?” The clown asked titling your head to the left.
“H…how did you know my name?” George asked lowly. You only smiled, a smile that would calm a raging sea. But it caused me nothing but pain. Nothing but a never ending fear and as I try. As I try so hard, harder than I ever have to cry out to him. To tell him to run, words fail me once again and there was one you and George.
“Georgie, you called to me. You wanted help and here I am. To help you.” You smirked as you spoke. Each word giving off a false charm that succeed in causing him to trust you. I could feel him slipping, slipping under your spell with each words. George has always loved clowns. I never knew why but he always loved them. Every year when the circus came to town mom and dad would take us, they had to force me to go. No matter what I say or did, they always had to take us.
“I…I did? Why are you in the gutter mister?” George questioned. He stood there filled with so many questions. “Who was this strange clown?” and “Did I really summon him?” His mind was racing a mile a minute and each question only made him move closer and closer to him.
“Run!” I whispered. It was the only thing I could. Over and over praying that maybe George would hear it. Somehow by the grace of god he would hear me and run as fast as he could home. But he didn’t, he couldn’t and the more you smile the more I knew that you could. You could hear every word I said.
“Sureeee did!” You answered before frowning. “Gutter? Gutter? I knew I took the wrong turn at Albuquerque!” George only laughed. Bugs bunny always used that line, he thought to himself. I only cried.
“Well…”he started taking two more steps towards the gutter. “What’s your name mister?” for the first time since you appeared he offered you a faint smile. A smile you returned, but I knew it wasn’t at him. It was at me, somehow you knew. You knew I was there, that I was trapped behind his eyes, watching.
So I did the only thing I could. I begged, not to god or to anything else…but you. “Please….take me!” I begged. I know you can hear me, but there was no answer. Only a smile, a haunting smile that burnt a hole through my soul.
“Well,” you began slowly switching you gaze from George to the balloon, “My friends call me…” You dragged out each word. “Pennywise! A pleasure to meet you Georgie!” Your eyes glance back at him as the smile reappeared.
“C…can you help me get my brothers ball back?” he asked lowly walking towards Pennywise. Each step caused my heart to sink deeper and deeper into my stomach. Every word, every step caused my mind to go into a frenzy. I could only watch as George walked willingly to Pennywise.
“You mean….” Pennywise paused as he spoke slowly raising the ball up with his left hand. “This one?” George smiled and race towards the gutter stopping only two steps away. “Georgie…how about a balloon also? I have so many…blue…red….green….”
George stared at the ball before looking at the balloon in the clown other hands. Minds filling with wonders and joy. Not only could he retrieve the ball but also get a balloon? His hands tugged at his pants legs as he twisted back and forward thinking of his options. Seeing him like this cause the fear to fade away. There was only shame, guilt a pain I never knew existed.
“Do,” he started lowly this time not out of fear or caution, but now out of excitement. Although George was smart and listened when mom and dad said to stay away from strangers. This wasn’t a stranger in his head, this was Pennywise the clown. George personal guardian angel….in the form of a clown. “…they float….like yours?”
Pennywise smile faded as he spoke, sadden flushed across his face and as you spoke. As you spoke your tone revealed remorse. “Yes…oh yes Georgie. They float….”each word cause him to move closer to you. He bent down as he reached for the balloon. Your tone changed and so did you. There was no more Pennywise. No, there was only you, your true self. Your teeth was now razor sharp like a shark. As his fingers touched the balloon you dropped the ball and in one quick motion grabbed him.
As you spoke I woke from my dream and your words stayed with me. They kept my fear…my pain warm. The words you spoke so many times before that now stay in the back of my mind, calling to me. “They all float down here!” The fear didn’t hold me, it didn’t stop me this time.
Sweat and tears poured off my face as I jotted out of my seat. As the Walkman fall towards the ground I rushed out of my room. As my mother and father spoke to me, as they called to me I heard nothing. “George” I shouted, I cried. If there was a god, he wouldn’t let this happen. He wouldn’t let you…wouldn’t let George…
As I ran towards the gutter, as I moved with a speed I never knew I had. My lungs burnt, my body told me to stop but I didn’t. The pain, the fear fueled me and thanks to you. Thanks to you, whoever…whatever you are. I was filled with fuel. As I reached the gutter, my parents screamed and shouted for me to slow down to come back.
I stood there in silence, a silence only the dead knew. You was gone, George was gone. There was only a red balloon that floated inches off the ground next to my ball. I stood there without words without emotions. A pain I never knew flushed over me and as the rain started. As it slowly wash away the leftovers of a broken soul. There was nothing new for the rain to reveal. Only broken fragments of who I used to be.
“Danny” my mom choked out placing the umbrella over me. As she reached out for me I folded into her. The tears I thought was long gone flowed from my eyes. They looked on in fear, in horror as I broke in front of them. “Danny what’s wrong.” She choked out pulling me in close to her embrace. How could I tell them? How could I make them understand that you took him? That I will never see my brother grow with me, laugh with me, smile with me again? That you took the one thing, the only thing I could never replace.
“G…George….” My words was broken. Each syllable was followed by a tear. As I stare at them, as I looked them both in the eyes. I felt myself broke all over again. I failed them, I failed George. “He took him….he took George mom!” I cried burring my head into her again. They stood without words and offered me the comfort only parents could.
As we stood there getting soaked to the bone. My mother finally spoke in the way only a mother could, “Who’s George baby?” she questioned. My world lost all meaning as I heard this, I stared at her in confusion and questioned every word she said. “Is George one of your friends? Is he in trouble baby?” she asked me and as she spoke my father wrapped his arms around us and lead us towards the house.
The night felt hollow. I told them about you George. Told them about that thing….that it took my brother. They told me, I never had a brother. That I was the only child and as I went to search for proof. As I grabbed photos that used to hold your presence I found you was gone. Everything that reminded me of you, was gone. They didn’t know you and I cried. The whole night, I was consumed with pain.
George…you’re gone and they don’t remember you even existed. Is it because I know It, because I’ve seen him and felt him that I remember? I must have cried myself to sleep that night, I didn’t eat dinner. I could hear them. Talking about me again, that now I was making up imaginary brothers. Each word was a new wound.
As I laid there, in the darkness I knew you’ll come. That you’ll come from me again like you have done so many times. I know you would haunt my dreams and I welcomed it. But, you didn’t come. Although I prayed for you. Wanted you to come, to torment me and taunt me with your victory you didn’t. I was left alone tonight. Alone with my mind and maybe, maybe you knew that was worse than any torment you could give me.
As the darkness faded and gave life to the light. Life went on like normal or so others would say. The sun came to welcome a new day and as we woke and started our day. I found myself staring at the empty room that used to be George’s. As I sat on the bus I found myself staring at the seat that used to be George’s. As I sat in class, listening to Mrs. William speak to us I found myself thinking of yesterday.
“Psst” she whispered poking at my back with her pencil. Candice smiled warmly at me, she was the same age as me. Her green eyes maked contact with mine, I’ve always had a crush on her. As she spoke low so only I could hear. “We’re still on for tonight right?” she grinned as she asked me and for a moment I forgot about everything.
As I went to reply the bell rung. Mrs. William shouted out last minute pages for us to read and as we ignored her and headed into the hallway Candice caught up with me. “Going to bring George too right?” she asked. The question caused me to freeze in place and stare at her grim-faced. She knew about George? She remembered him?
Before I could say a word Timmy tugged on my arm. “Dan!” he shouted, “Where is George!? He wasn’t in class today is he okay?” I glanced at him in confusion. Was I asleep? No one knew George, no one remembered him but me! How, how did they remember? “An-an-and then Mr. Lopez didn’t even call his name for row! Did something happen?”
Timmy stood there within confusion eager for my reply. Candice now shared his confusion and concern. As I talked, as my words overlapped and I tried to explain it to them. As I told them about George, about you. About the sleepless nights, that I would dream while I was awake. About the torment, about the pain. Their eyes lighten up and they stared at me with a look I knew all too well. The confusion was gone and replaced with fear.
As the story took up most of our lunch and the rest of P.E. They was consumed in fear and remained speechless. “Then….” I finished, the last words hurt more than anything else. I knew what happen but saying it, was making it more real than it already was. “Then through George eyes….I watched as It took him. He called himself…”
“Pennywise.” Candice chimed in. She stared at the ground, fingers tugging on the edge of her dress. Timmy sunk deep into his chair staring off in the distance. He tried his best to hide tears that rolled down his cheek. “He…he comes anytime he wants….” She choked out. As she spoke Timmy whispered.
“He lives with you, in your heart. He makes your heart his home and fill it….fill it with fear….with pain….” Each word drove him deeper and deeper into the seat. “And now…” his tone was different. “…now…” it wasn’t fear….”…now he has….”it was sorrow, grief. “Now he has George! He has George!” he cried burring his face in his lap.
We sat there for hours outside the school talking. Exchanging stories about you, about what you have done to us Mr. Pennywise. Then, I said something, “We have to find him…” they stared at me. First in disbelief. “He has George! What if…what if his still alive? We…we can’t leave him.” I stared at them, they stared back.
“We don’t even know where he is.” Candice said shaking her head. She was right, but that didn’t calm me down. There was a fire, a fire I never felt before. The pain, the fear was being swallowed by it and I promised myself no matter what I would get him back. As we locked eyes and had an argument without words.
Timmy chimed in, “we might be able to find out…” we stared at him. “Maybe…we can find something about him at the library…”he paused as he spoke. As if he wasn’t sure what to say next. Candice seemed unfazed by his idea but I moved to the edge of my seat. If there was a way, anyway to find George I was all for it.
However before he could finish Candice chimed in, “And what?” she questioned. “Look in a book for big bad monsters? Our parents don’t even believe us and the people he take….everyone forgets about.” As she spoke she stared at the ground. Her voice grew low to the point we had to move closer just to hear her.
“But that wasn’t always the case!” Timmy shouted, his eyes lighten up as he puffed out his chest. “Or…at least I think…My dad told me, that the library kept records of people who disappeared a long time ago. Something about it becoming public information after the cases died.” She stared at him in confusion but I stared with hope.
As I stood from my seat I spoke loudly, “What if he didn’t always make people forget? What if he couldn’t at first? If there records…maybe we can see where they disappeared and pinpoint where he is?” All those long hours of Dick Tracey was finally paying off. School let out an hour ago but the school library stayed open until seven.
By this time there was only teachers left and those lucky kids who had to stay after class. George stayed on my mind as we walked to the library. “I’m coming” I thought to myself. Soon, soon I’ll find him and take him away. For the first time in years I wasn’t afraid. I saw a light in my life. We grabbed every book we thought would help.
The library always had the ac on high. It felt like an icebox. As we gathered the books we retreated outside. It made no sense freezing to death while trying to figure out It’s location. We sat there staring at the books trying to figure out what we was dealing with. Trying to wrap our heads around the type of monster we was facing.
“Eh, this is stupid” Candice said closing one of the books. She didn’t look up as she sat there. She only hung her head not willing to face the fact we may never discover the truth. Timmy quickly closed a book as he shook his head.
“I hate wolfs…” he said sliding the book towards me. “We’ll find it….we have to. I’ll go grab the records.” He said standing up. We had so many books, so many dead ends I didn’t know how we would find the truth. How would we even begin to understand what you was?
Books about monsters, myths, nightmares and evil. Timmy went to ask for the public records while me and Candice sat there staring at the pictures. Each picture more terrifying than the last. As we sat there I found myself zoning out. No matter how hard I fought it my eyes refused to stay open and as darkness inched its way into my world, light quickly came back.
A voice broke the calming abyss. “Excuses me,” he choked out ringing the bell on the desk. There was no answer, as he rung it the second time a soft ruffling of feet escaped the back. “Hey I would like the public records” he said, it was Timmy. I was seeing the world through his eyes, I was feeling the world by his touch.
The lights flickered as the office door slowly opened. “H—hello?” he choked out and my heart fall to my stomach. I found myself trapped behind another pair of foreign eyes. I found myself knowing the end of this dream, a dream that I had before. I held my breath as I watched. As he titled his head and moved closer to try and see inside of the room the ruffling came back.
A hand slowly escaped the darkness of the office as it gripped the door fame. But it wasn’t a human’s hand, no it was a beast. As long skinny fingers gripped the fame Timmy froze. Long brown hair covered the beast hand and long sharp nails that slice the fame with ease rest at the end of its fingers. Was it Timmy or my heart that skipped a beat? As Timmy took a step backwards it revealed itself.
Its long snout came into the light as it roared. Its yellow silted eyes stared into ours. Fur covered what we could see and what we did see was fear itself. As it bared it dagger like teeth saliva dripped from its mouth. Its growl sent chills down our spine and caused Timmy to cover his ears in pain. Timmy backed away slowly, he prayed it wouldn’t give chase. I hope it wouldn’t come near.
Timmy heart raced and each breath cause his knees to buckle. As Timmy step back the creature only watched silently. As he back away the creature slowly faded back into the darkness of the office and there was a silent. A haunting calm before the storm. It happened so fast I missed it, as Timmy turned to run towards the door the monster howled. The glass inside of the library shattered as it leaped from the office.
Its crawls swung wildly slicing through Timmy backpack cutting open his back. I felt the pain, I felt the fear. Timmy cried out as he leaped into the library doors pushing them open with his body. As he hit the ground the fear cause him to ignore the pain. Tears rolled down his face as he stumble back to his feet and began to run towards the front doors.
As the library doors began to shut the monster burst through them knocking them off their hinges. It ran like a craze beast on all fours. I could feel its hot breath on Timmy’s neck. “Please…”he cried, “Help!” he shouted. As his hands reached for the front door. Inches away, I awoken.
Butch and his two idiots stood beside our table laughing. As my eyes opened my hand cupped my neck. “Timmy!” I shouted jotting from my seat racing towards the school. Butch yelled something that I didn’t hear. Candice followed asking something I didn’t hear. As we reached the door a gust of wind escaped it as the doors knocked me backwards.
The monster stood there staring at us. Its yellow eyes darting between the five of us. Candice screamed in horror of the sight. Its mouth was around Timmy’s neck, blood dripped from its teeth. It growled lowly as Timmy whimpered. As its grip on him tighten blood began to pour down as he cried out. Its brown fur was now covered with a light tint of red.
“What the hell is that!?” Butch screamed stepped back pulling out a switchblade. We was all silent, it was silent. I finally knew what it was, what you are. As I began to stand the beast eyes locked on to me as it began to step down the steps. I froze in place, was it fear? As it raised it nightmarish hand. Was I already dead?
“Danny!” Jaime shouted as a rock went soaring into the beast eye. It let out a loud howl of pain as he rush pass us. Jaime stood there silently with his slingshot. But this was it, it attacked us because you knew we was getting close. You knew we was going to find you. As it passed by me without thinking my hands grabbed on to it.
I held on for as long as I could. When I felt my grip slipping I readjusted. I held on for minutes but it felt like hours, my arms begged me to let go. As I finally slipped off it stopped and stared at me. As it roared at me blood covered my face Timmy dropped in front of me. He laid there lifeless, his skin was pale and blood gusted from the wounds on his neck.
“H….help…..me….”he mumbled staring at me, tears filled his eyes and as I reached for him. It dug its claws into his back and dragged him away. It retreated inside of a sewer pipe and then there was silence. As I went to scream his name there was only silence. As I sat there consumed in fear I was left alone with my own thoughts.
I knew who you was. I knew what you are Mr. Pennywise and maybe that was worse than not knowing. Because it was at that moment I knew, that we created you. You was everything we fear, everything we hated and wish wasn’t true. Me losing George, Timmy and the wolf. You was us and we was you. But I no longer had fear, you was powerless against me now.
I knew where it took me. I had my eyes closed the whole trip but as I scanned the area I knew where I was. It was an old sewer entrance, we use to dare each other to spend an hour inside. Candice, Jamie and I found it when we was younger. We used to play in these woods all the time and we ran across this entrance long ago. I completely forgot it was even here.
It took me only a few minute to leave the woods and as I walked out Jaime and Candice was racing towards me. “Are you okay?” they screamed. I told them, I told them everything. About you, about your home. Jaime listened and told us how you came to him. How you haunted him and would lark in the shadows when he slept.
We made plans to go tomorrow, to save George. That night I hardly slept. Timmy, his eyes haunted me. They stared into mine, I could only stare back and watch the life fade from them. Was it my fault? Why? Why do you take everyone but leave me?
Laying there dreaming, dreaming of George and Timmy and of you, Mr. Pennywise. I found myself inside of a cold room, darkness was all around me but I could see. I could make out the blood covered stone walls and floor. A soft whimper came from the walls and as I touch it. As I listened she spoke to me, “Hello…”
It was the same voice from before, “I…is anyone there? Please…” she plead. A voice I knew, a voice I have heard before but where? “Please! No!” she shouted and then…there was silence. The steel door cracked open as light slowly poured into the room.
Each step I took my heart beat grew louder. As the door opened more the light blinded me and there was only laughter. As the light consumed me and forced me to withdraw the laughter grew louder and louder and then. Then there was silence. I found myself laying in my bed as the sun slowly came up.
The next few hours felt like they washed away without me even noticing. Breakfast was a hollow event. I sat there staring at the chair George used to sit. As Candice and Jaime came they talked about what we was going to do. I only listened. Jaime brought his slingshot and Candice brought her bat. My dad had a hunting axe that I stuffed in my backpack.
For the past few years, ever since you came into my life. There been no happy days, no pleasant nights. After every long day, after every cold night. Today it finally will end. It must have been two o’clock when we finally got to the entrance. What we was talking about, how brave we was acting seamed to fade.
No one made a sound in fear that it would hear us. We walked in silence with weapon drawn. Flashlights shining as we walked every footstep caused us to freeze in place. We questioned every sound, even the sounds we made. How far did we travel before I realized this was a mistake? How far did we go before my false bravery gave way to the fear?
“How are we supposed to find it?” Candice asked clinching her bat with one hand and the light with the other. We was silence, Jaime and I only gave each other a look of concern. “This was a mistake…let’s go home…” she whispered taking a step back. Before we could say anything a soft whimper echoed through the tunnel.
We froze in place as we listened. Was it the wind? As the whimper grew louder Candice back into me and stayed there. Her flashlight dropped to the ground as her hand grabbed on to my arm. Tears was falling from her eyes as she choked out, “H…hello? Is anyone there?”
My heart dropped as I stared at her. Her voice….it was…. Before I could think a loud howl filled the tunnel followed by laughter. But it wasn’t yours, no it was someone…something else. “Loser!” he shouted walking out of the darkness behind us. Butch and Antony came laughing towards us. “What are you losers doing in here?”
Jaime only shushed him. Butch stopped a few steps away from us as he smirked staring at us. “Come on, what are you hunting that monster? A bunch of clowns like you?” Antony only laughed and shook his head. “What are you going to do?” he started grinning widely, “Cry it to death?” Jaime sighed heavily. “If that thing is in here, it’s going to just kill you like it did Timmy…” as he spoke Jaime eyes shifted and stared at him. They warned him not to finish but he did, “…like a bitch.”
“Get out of here Butch!” he shouted taking a step towards him. Butch smile faded as he stared at Jaime. Antony laughed even more and as the laughter filled the tunnel it changed. It wasn’t only Antony laughing now.
“What was that?” Butch asked taking a step towards him. His voice was different, his tone was almost in a flux. It changed between his normal to high then low. As his eyes changed colors fear set in. Jaime didn’t see it and as he took another step forward I began to shout for him to move away. For him to run but it was too late.
Blood dripped from the knife as the ground began to be soaked by it. Jaime stood there in shock. The knife dug into his stomach and before he pulled it out he twisted the blade pushing it in more. “Ha, like I said, like a bitch.” As he jerked the switchblade from Jaime stomach he fall over gasping for air. Antony stood there dumbfounded as Butch stabbed the knife into his throat.
Without a thought I grabbed Candice hand as I took off running further in the tunnel. He called after me, shouted but it wasn’t him anymore. No, it was you….it was you. “Danny! Where ya going? Didn’t you wanna find Georgie? Whoa-hohohohohoho!”
“He killed them!” she cried, “He killed Jaime!” as we ran I realize this was a mistake. That it didn’t matter. In our dreams, in reality that we was yours. That even when we tried to change the field, tried to take the fight to you there was no fight. There was only you and what you wanted. As I reached for the hatchet in my bag Candice tugged me back as the knife barely missed my right eye.
Butch stood in front of us with a grin. He spun the knife in his hand as he watched me slowly stand back up. “So, which one of you first? Personal, I want some alone time with Candice. So Danny boy…” he paused as he gripped the knife tightly in his hand before lunging at me. “Die!” as he leaped at me like a savage beast I swung the hatchet wildly praying to hit anything.
As the blade sunk into the side of his neck blood gust from it as he crash to the ground. He wiggled around like he was drowning. “Son of a---!” he screamed gripped the hatchet. As he ripped it out of his neck Candice folded into me as she cried. My mouth dropped open as he slowly began to stand up. “Wow Danny boy….didn’t think you had it in you.” As he turned around his eyes was now yellowish-green.
As he stepped towards us, we stepped away. He smiled as he walked. Blood still gusted from the neck wound. His fingers moved and jerked in weird ways. Each time they moved you could hear the bones snapping and twisting. “W…what are you?” I choked out and he only answered me with a smile.
As he mouth open only a hollow scream escaped that caused us to howl in pain. Blood and bugs flew out of his mouth and then nothing. Only the comfort of darkness. Butch was gone, Candice was gone and there was only coldness. Did I die?
George, Jaime, and Timmy they flashed in my brain on repeat all the people I couldn’t help. Everything dies around me but I, I was always left alive. Left to feel the pain of the aftermath.
“Do you know why?”
Your voice broke the silence and before I could answer you already knew what I would say. You laugh as your fingers move through the darkest areas of my brain. As you spoke I felt like I knew you, that you was me and I was you.
“Danny, I love you. I love you so much that you must live. Timmy…Georgie…don’t you see? They was only the appetizer but you. You never eat the main course first now do you? Don’t worry, you’re my little masterpiece and soon. Soon I will sleep and it will be thanks to you. Because you hold something the others couldn’t you have something the others don’t.”
As you spoke to me I felt your touch against my cheek. Your tongue brushing against my skin. I felt your fingers on my flesh and I knew, I knew I was nothing but a meal to you.
“Close Danny, but you need a little more seasoning. Your missing….that extra kick! Uwee-hee-hee!”
There was only that haunting laughter and the darkness. The fear of knowing I was nothing but a meal, a meal that you been seasoning and slow roasting for years. As life came back to my eyes I found myself in a prison. I could only make out the blood covered stone and steel door.
I felt like I knew this place…I felt like I’ve been here before. “Hello…?” the voice broke the silence. Her whimpers sent an all too familiar chill down my spine. This time it wasn’t a dream, this time I knew who it was. This time I knew…I was the reason she was here.
“Is…is anyone there?” her name is Candice. A daughter, a girlfriend and because I know her, dead. Taken away from her life and left here. Because of me. We came here in hopes of finding my brother and killing the thing that been haunting us for years. But, but that wasn’t going to happen.
“Please…” she pled. Her voice echoed in the empty room. He gave her only enough to live, only enough to continue his fun. No, she wasn’t quite right, her taste, and her fear. No she wasn’t seasoned right yet. Her fingers was craved to the bone. Not by him. No, she dug them into the stone walls and floors to rip her fingernails off. For the blood to flow, so she could have anything to soften the thirst.
She would beg for death for hours. Pray to gods she forsaken long ago for sweet relief. Everyday. At the same hour. The door, will unlock and slowly open. A dark blue light would slowly shine within the room and offer her a false hope.
At first, she would take it. She would race down the halls, turn corners and run the maze like a rat after his prize. But there is no prize, only pain. Only despair, only him. He would watch her run, watch her gain hope with each turn.
“Please….please….no….” she move away from the light. Pushing her back against the wall covering her face trying to hide from the light. Then without warning. Without any time of sound, she faded away. Her voice faded, her cries gone.
There was only silence. No tears, no screams and no Candice. Until my door unlocked. As it slowly creped open light slowly began to pour in as it blinded me. As I stepped out of the empty room I found myself in a long hallway. Doors on both sides, an endless amount. “C….Candice?” I whispered.
As I slowly glanced into her room, she smiled warmly at me. She was there, every piece of her. Floating aimlessly in the air. She was ripped apart, in pieces….so many pieces. I stood there, without sound, without words. She smiled and laughed softly at first, then loudly. She was not staring at me. She was not laughing.
She was not smiling. She was screaming, screaming haunting silent screams. As I went to run, as I turned I saw the source of the laughter. He stood there, smiling, laughing. As my world turned to darkness. As the remains of his laugher lingered in my mind, in my soul. His voice cause it all to go silent. With five simple words. As he spoke them, they echoed in my heart, they cut into my very soul.
We all float down here!
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